Unemployment leads Obama, GOP weekly addresses
June 16th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Unemployment leads Obama, GOP weekly addresses

(CNN) - Unemployment was on the minds of President Barack Obama and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Saturday, as they delivered weekly addresses calling for leadership and action to put people back to work.

Walker touted the results achieved in part by controversial measures he took, including restricting the right of state employees to collectively bargain. Unions and others responded to his moves by trying to oust him, an effort that ended this month when Walker survived a recall vote.

He said his state's unemployment rate dropped and a budget deficit turned into a surplus since he took office in early 2011.

Obama repeated his call for Congress to pass jobs and economic legislation he proposed last fall.

"Republicans in Congress haven't lifted a finger," he said. "They'd rather wait until after the election in November."

The most recent jobs report, released at the beginning of June, showed the weakest job growth so far this year: 69,000 jobs created in May, while unemployment rose slightly to 8.2% as new graduates entered the work force.

Politics pervaded the addresses as each mirrored the charges the two parties have lobbed back and forth in previous weeks, when debating energy, economics and jobs.

"Sadly, the president and many of his allies seem to measure success by how many people are dependent on government programs," Walker said. "Those policies have failed. In contrast, I and many other Republicans define success in just the opposite way - by how many people we can free from government dependence by growing the private sector."

Walker pointed to growth in Wisconsin private sector employment - 41,000 new jobs since he took office in January 2011 - as well as a budget surplus rather than deficit and an improved business climate ranking by the publication, Chief Executive Magazine.

The president also cited private sector job growth, but said the economy is "not growing fast enough."

To keep the economy growing, Obama said Congress should appropriate money to states to fund hiring of teachers, police officers and firefighters, as well as fund infrastructure construction, pass a tax break for small businesses that hire, and approve other measures.

But despite the economic gloom, both leaders struck an optimistic chord.

"Every problem we face is within our power to solve," Obama said. "I'm ready to work with anyone – Republican, Democrat or Independent - who is serious about moving this country forward. And I hope members of Congress will join me."

And Walker concluded, "We'll have to make some tough choices but there is no doubt that it is worth it. Let this be the moment in history where we can tell our children and our grandchildren that we helped restore our country's greatness again. I believe we can because I believe in America."

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Filed under: Economy • Jobs • President Obama • Scott Walker • Wisconsin
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Dale Leitzke

    Government employment has been shrinking during the Obama administration while private sector employment has been expanding. Walker's allegation that Democrats seek to expand government employment and governement programs is not founded in reality. Outright lies are a part of Walker's strategy. No wonder he had to face a recall vote! The real problem is that he is owned and operated by special interests. We need a political party that regects special inerests and acts based on grass roots opinions. (American Freedom Party?)

    June 16, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  2. SafeJourney

    "Republicans in Congress haven't lifted a finger," "They'd rather wait until after the election in November"
    Vote these teapublicans out of office before they completely destroy America.

    June 16, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  3. Ancient Texan

    The president just made it harder for the 14.3% of unemployed, underemployed Americans to find work with his adding 2-3 million more illegal aliens to the workforce by presidental fiat.

    June 16, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  4. Larry L

    I hope Walker warned people about those evil firefighters, police officers, and teachers! We all know unions are nothing more than mini-communist parties and those parasites on society are the worst! Romney will help us prevent the hiring of any more of these drains on our economy. We can use the money to buy more cars, homes and yachts for our "job creators" – so they'll be happy and make us some more low-paying, menial jobs! I just wish they'd make the job here... and not in China...

    June 16, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Tim

    Walker taking credit for an increase in jobs in his state is almost laughable. Notice how he doesn't mention the number of jobs LOST since he started.

    June 16, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. bearced

    How is employment looking in Wisconsin Mr. Walker? The last I knew you guys weren't doing to well.

    June 16, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. Ray E. (Georgia)

    It appears that Obama is calling for more debt and the American people are resisting. We've had Stimulus up to our ears and the offical unemployment figures have only went down 1 percent. Until Obama Care has been decided by the Supreme Court people and business aren't sure what to expect next. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. The Government has no business Health Care, Welfare or collecting and disbursing money in most cases.

    June 16, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. mikle

    Obama will do or say, just to elected on 2od term.

    June 16, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    PolitiFact don’t agree with Gov. Scott Walker’s numbers

    June 16, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. w l jones

    All around the Ancient world they left a blue print how to keep a great civilization moving by building Infrostruture Construction to keep there people busy untile merchant sale go up thereby start hiring the mass. Bless

    June 16, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Pat M

    Tax breaks to the rich cost more jobs lately then they create. We hear about pipelines, oil companies, mines ect. everyday, but work on infrastructure would benefit all of us and not just the rich. All the rich care about is getting more money, not what's best for the majority.

    June 16, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Bren

    The ball game has now been changed--as millions of US citizens/voters/workers/unemployed/middle class-–are made aware that Obama just gave the authority/ability to millions of illegals to take US jobs from US citizens!! Watch the polls in the next few weeks--as Obama just ended his ability to get reelected-–as well as any Democrat up for election/reelection, who supports his decision regarding this!!

    June 16, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What an insult to the people of Wisconsin for Walker to use the word "We" when it's clear Walker is a "me, myself, I and the Koch Bros. Governor. He'll leave the State of Wisconsin in shambles for the next Governor while he's posting up for the Presidency; Romney did the same to Massachuttes and George W. Bush did the same leaving the country in a mess so don't expect any different results from Walker.

    June 16, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. g

    with all the republican money scams in banking and wall street and foreign investments –we don,t have to create jobs anywhere and the super paks best scam so far ,just think of all that foriegn money going into off shore banking

    June 16, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. T'sah from Virginia

    So, the Republicans put all of the so-call "rising star" up front and they continuously state falsehoods like, "He said his state's unemployment rate dropped and a budget deficit turned into a surplus since he took office in early 2011." A known LIE because the Wisconsin Department of Revenue projects 190,000 jobs will be created in WI by 2015 WITHOUT anything a "sitting governor" needs to do. Walker – YOU LIE!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    June 16, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Are you kidding me?

    Walker should not be speaking at all.

    June 16, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. rob

    "Unions and others responded to his moves by trying to oust him, an effort that ended this month when Walker survived a recall vote."

    Walker didn't "survive" the recall he WON BY 7%. Not quite the squeaker the media like us to believe. The tide has turned on the liberal experiment with European style social democracy. Time to elect adult leaders who recognize the greatness of our free markets and the people of this country to thrive without the Govt controlling everything.

    Nov. 6 can't come fast enough.

    June 16, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Catmandew

    Bearced we are doin fine here in WI. You really should come by before you say that. Walker is right we are moving in the right direction!

    June 16, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. Hammerer

    Jobs? Economy? Middleclass? Obama is clueless!

    June 16, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. Hammerer

    Obama knows welfare, foodstamps, government handouts, amnesty, taking from thr haves and giving to the slackers and government control.

    June 16, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. D.

    Romney reminds me of a puppet, his puppet masters pull his strings and off he goes except Romney can talk which is even scarier. Romney has no spine and he reminds me of Eddie Hascal of the Leave it To Beaver TV show.
    He is a evil guy...any one who did what he did by cutting that kids hair in high school has a black heart.
    The Morman Devil should be his name.
    Lets not forget about the House Republicans...these obstructionist should be fired.
    If you or I showed up to work and refused to do our jobs we would be fired....throw these bums out in 2012!!!

    June 16, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |